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Channing
07-03-2007, 08:17 AM
for those who know more about NBA personnel than me, what does this mean for JJ? I know Lewis is 6'10, but I always thought he was known for his outside shooting and his finesse more than for being a low post player. Hopefully he and JJ play different positions - I know Lewis coexisted with another great shooting guard in Seattle.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2924228

Dukerati
07-03-2007, 08:34 AM
It's not good in my opinion. Lewis and JJ will not play the same position but it gives the Magic a surfeit of what JJ does best: three point shooting. Looking at the Magic's roster right now, they have a logjam of potential two guards.

Starting four:
Jameer Nelson
Rashard Lewis
Dwight Howard
Darko Milicic (if they can resign him, which they really want to do)

Here is JJ's competition for the two spot/3-point specialist:
Hedo Turkoglu
Pat Garrity
Reshawn Terry
Keith Bogans

What's worse is that the Magic also have a bunch of backup point guards who can shoot (not nearly as well as JJ of course, but still, they'll take up minutes):

Carlos Arroyo
Travis Diener
Keyon Dooling

With the addition of Rashard, it gives the Magic more flexibility on the floor. Instead of having another shooter to complement Jameer and Rashard, they can opt for a slashing athletic two like Bogans or maybe even someone bigger like Trevor Ariza.

RepoMan
07-03-2007, 08:52 AM
Orlando MAJORLY overpaid for Lewis, which, in this era, is a critical error that will have long-lasting effects. So, hopefully, JJ won't be stuck on this team for the rest of his career because I predict that they will be in cap hell for years.

Hector Vector
07-03-2007, 09:39 AM
Let's not make excuses for JJ. With Grant's almost sure departure, there are plenty of minutes available at the 2. The competition is Torguklu, Bogans, and Terry, not Dwyane Wade or Rip Hamilton. If JJ can't earn 20-25 mpg against that competition that's on him (I think he can). Where is he going to go where his chances are better?

As for the Lewis signing, it is a very high price. But he is an excellent complement to Howard, a versatile scorer with range to team with Howard's brutish inside game. Howard is an exceptional cornerstone player, but I don't see him topping 20 ppg. Now they have a pure scorer, capable of 23-25 ppg, particularly now that he doesn't share the floor with another perimeter ace in Ray Allen. Lewis can be a somewhat "selfish" scorer on this team and that will be good.

Apparantly there will not be money for Darko. May be that Lewis has to play the 4 on this team with Ariza or Torguklu at the 3. Nevertheless, they have the East's best big man, an all star level scorer, and a decent PG in Jameer Nelson. If complementary parts like Redick, Torguklu, Ariza, Battie can perform, I think this is a top 5 team in East with Cleveland, Chicago, and some combo of Det (depends on Billups return), Mia (health), and NJ (productive return of Kristic).

jimsumner
07-03-2007, 10:36 AM
I agree with Hector. Turkoglu probably is at his peak and he's substantially bigger than J.J. But Garrity's career is about over, and Bogans seems to have established himself as a career reserve. Plus Bogans can't shoot a lick. [He can play D, however]. Terry? A second-round pick who averaged less than 10 ppg as a senior. Besides, I see him more as a 3.

Plus a new coach and Redick (knock on wood) should start camp in better shape than last season. Playing time is available. J.J. just has to go out a grab it.

JasonEvans
07-03-2007, 10:39 AM
Orlando MAJORLY overpaid for Lewis, which, in this era, is a critical error that will have long-lasting effects. So, hopefully, JJ won't be stuck on this team for the rest of his career because I predict that they will be in cap hell for years.

Hmmmm- I am not sure about this signing.

On the one hand, Lewis is coming off his best season and at 28 years of age (he just turned 28) he would certainly appear to have several productive seasons ahead of him.

On the other hand, as a kid who came straight to the NBA out of high school, he may be an "old" 28. He certainly has a lot of NBA games already under his belt for someone so young. Next year will be his 10th year in the league. you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who's play improved after his 10th season in the league.

Last year's freak tendon injury in his hand which caused him to miss 2 months was the first time he has suffered a major in-season injury, but he has had some nagging little injuries every now and then. He came back nicely from a plantar fascia injury over the summer a couple seasons ago. Those things can be nasty and take a long time to heal but Lewis played 70+ games that season. It is hard to say how he will hold up in the future.

One more point about him-- while he has great outside shooting touch, this is not some big guy who only scores from the perimeter. He can mix it up inside and command double-teams. He shoots a pretty fair number of FTs on average (and he is a great FT shooter-- mid-80s-- which matters to the Magic because Howard and Milicic are awful FT shooters). Putting him alongside Dwight Howard is a potent combination, especially in the big-man devoid East.

My bottom line on this contract is that by the end of it (5 years) there is a very good chance that the 32-year-old Rashard Lewis will be sitting on a salary cap number that looks huge and makes him appear overpaid. I think there is a pretty good chance he will have broken down some after 15 years in the league and will be producing significantly less than he is now...

...But, for the next couple years at least there is no reason not to think that he is going to be a stud for the Magic to go alongside their other stud. I make the Magic one of the leading contenders in the East based on this move. Yeah, they are now capped out (and will have to pay a mint to Howard after his contract is up next season plus Nelson's contact will also be up and he will get a big raise after next year), but they are going to be contenders for the East crown for the next few years. I think the short term on this deal is very good. The long term is a lot more sketchy-- but it is not like they just inked Shawn Kemp to a 7-year, $107 million deal.

-Jason "the Magic, the Bulls, and the Cavs are now the class of the East, IMO" Evans

Mcluhan
07-03-2007, 11:41 AM
AN inside/outside triangle of Reddick, Lewis, and Howard (with Jameer and Darko providing the fluid interplay) could be money. I think Rashard is one of the more underrated players in the league.

However, it's pretty much going to come down to JJ's defense. He's going to have his hands full with Vince Carter, Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson, Rip Hamilton, and Michael Redd.

Bogans is the competition here: a blue collar guy who will work hard to make the starting five with defense in hustle. They're going to be going at it in practice.

But starting or not (I predict not, at least to start the season), JJ's role should increase, now that it appears that Grant (JJ's primary competition last year, since they played him at the 2) is on his way out. I expect Hedo to primarily back up Lewis, as he's about 6'10. And he can't play defense either.

TheGodfather
07-03-2007, 02:21 PM
Terry was only a part of the Magic for a little over an hour. He was dealt to Dallas for Mr Irrelevant Milovan Rakovic moments after the draft.

Turkoglu has some mystery illness (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2619585&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines) that only Dr House would be able to diagnose.

JJ will lead the Magic's summer league team next week. Should be fun to see him leading a team again. Despite ESPNs claims Rakovic wouldn't come to America, he's scheduled to participate (I guess we'll see). The games aren't open to the public but they are webcast live at orlandomagic.com if you want to catch a glimpse of JJ.

July 9th - 13th. Games begin at 3 pm games except on Friday when they start at 11am game.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orl-magicsummer0207jul02,0,611745.story?track=rss

Dukerati
07-05-2007, 08:42 AM
Let's not make excuses for JJ. With Grant's almost sure departure, there are plenty of minutes available at the 2. The competition is Torguklu, Bogans, and Terry, not Dwyane Wade or Rip Hamilton. If JJ can't earn 20-25 mpg against that competition that's on him (I think he can). Where is he going to go where his chances are better?

I wasn't trying to make excuses for JJ, simply point out that the Rashard signing did not help him and that the Magic is not the ideal situation (not bad for sure, but not ideal) for JJ. As for teams that I think JJ would be better suited for? I can think of three off the top of my head...

Miami - Kapono is leaving and JJ can easily fill his role, maybe even better

Utah - Derek Fisher has been released from the Jazz, I think JJ would fit in very well in the Utah offense, playing a Hornacek-type role

San Antonio - Finley and Brent Barry are aging, a skilled three point shooter playing off Tim Duncan could have some very big years

Washington - just so I can watch him play:)

JasonEvans
07-05-2007, 09:29 AM
I wasn't trying to make excuses for JJ, simply point out that the Rashard signing did not help him and that the Magic is not the ideal situation (not bad for sure, but not ideal) for JJ. As for teams that I think JJ would be better suited for? I can think of three off the top of my head...

Miami - Kapono is leaving and JJ can easily fill his role, maybe even better

Utah - Derek Fisher has been released from the Jazz, I think JJ would fit in very well in the Utah offense, playing a Hornacek-type role

San Antonio - Finley and Brent Barry are aging, a skilled three point shooter playing off Tim Duncan could have some very big years

Washington - just so I can watch him play:)

Speculating about new teams for JJ would seem to be waaaaay premature at this point. He has only played one injury-slowed year with the Magic and they are bringing in a new coach and a bunch of new pieces this season. His future, at least for the next 2 seasons, is almost certainly going to be in Orlando. I'd be shocked to see them deal him anytime soon.

-Jason "I doubt any of us know the degree to which even a minor injury can affect a long-range shooter" Evans

SilkyJ
07-05-2007, 03:26 PM
In regards to the question of will this help JJ, I'm gonna have to go with a definite Maybe. Towards the end of the year, JJ started to play pretty well and earned a lot of minutes, moving ahead of Diener and Bogans and arroyo in the rotation, after initially being behind them His shooting was definitely needed on that team.

This year is more of a tossup with Lewis being signed. He will not compete directly with JJ for minutes, and many have pointed out, b/c Rashard is a 3, and in the east, is really a 3/4 with the lack of size so many teams have. But now, the Magic arent as starved for offense so they may put someone with more athletic ability out there, like an Ariza. Don't underestimate JJ's defense though, its better than most think. He's an average defender, not a poor one. More will have to shake out in the preseason and first 10-15 games. At the end of the day, I think it will depend on what the best combination of players is for the Magic. JJ may be the best 2-guard on the team, but not the best fit...

JasonEvans
07-11-2007, 09:50 AM
Hmmmm- I am not sure about this signing.

((snip))

My bottom line on this contract is that by the end of it (5 years) there is a very good chance that the 32-year-old Rashard Lewis will be sitting on a salary cap number that looks huge and makes him appear overpaid. I think there is a pretty good chance he will have broken down some after 15 years in the league and will be producing significantly less than he is now...

...But, for the next couple years at least there is no reason not to think that he is going to be a stud for the Magic to go alongside their other stud. I make the Magic one of the leading contenders in the East based on this move. Yeah, they are now capped out (and will have to pay a mint to Howard after his contract is up next season plus Nelson's contact will also be up and he will get a big raise after next year), but they are going to be contenders for the East crown for the next few years. I think the short term on this deal is very good. The long term is a lot more sketchy-- but it is not like they just inked Shawn Kemp to a 7-year, $107 million deal.



I just read some of the specifics of this deal and by the end of it, Lewis is going to be an untradeable salary cap killer. His first year salary is $16.68 million and he gets a 10.5% raise every season. This means that in year 5 he will be making north of $25 million.

YIKES!!

The Magic better win a lot over the next couple years because if Lewis starts to break down, when he hits 31 and 32 years of age and is making more than $20 million a season, their cap situation is going to be uuuuuugly!

-Jason "I still like this deal near term, but am less sure about the long-term" Evans

RepoMan
07-13-2007, 11:35 AM
I don't think it can be said better than Chad Ford says it here in a free insider preview http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&id=2934997&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba %2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dford_ch ad%26id%3d2934997%26lpos%3dspotlight%26lid%3dtab2p os1 (http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&id=2934997&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba %2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dford_ch ad%26id%3d2934997%26lpos%3dspotlight%26lid%3dtab2p os1)

This deal is a mind-bogglingly bad deal.

Indoor66
07-13-2007, 12:23 PM
I don't think it can be said better than Chad Ford says it here in a free insider preview http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&id=2934997&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba %2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dford_ch ad%26id%3d2934997%26lpos%3dspotlight%26lid%3dtab2p os1

This deal is a mind-bogglingly bad deal.

IMO this is the savior mentality that pervades commentators and posters. Rarely has it ever worked out. Teams (especially at the college level) are built over time by developing the talent on hand and steadily adding to it. Only rarely has a player carried a team - and even more rarely a freshman.

mgtr
07-13-2007, 01:06 PM
Great article. Glad I didn't put that deal together.